what are tire wear patterns

Tire Shop Series: Tire Wear Patterns and What They Mean

Tire wear patterns tell a story about how your tires are connecting with the pavement below, and can indicate not only when you need a new set of tires, but other issues with your vehicle that may be affecting performance and tire life. Alignments, loose parts, damage, and inflation all play a role in where the wear is going to occur on your tires.

If you notice the wearing on your tire is occurring on the edge, known as toe wearing, this can indicate alignment issues. In more severe cases, your tire can be worn at an angle across a large surface of the wheel, called camber wear. This is a problem you’ll definitely want to look into.

If the wear on your tires is down the center, the tire is likely overinflated. The owner’s manual for your car or inside the door area on the driver’s side indicate the recommended tire pressure for your vehicle and can help avoid this wear pattern, and you can always ask your local tire shop for information on inflating your tires properly

On the opposite end of things, as you might expect, wearing on both outer edges of the tire may indicate underinflation.

If your tire has a diagonally striped wear pattern, known as cupping wear, there is likely an issue with your suspension. This is another issue that demands the immediate attention of a qualified mechanic.

Patchy wear is just what it sounds like…wear in odd patches all over the tire. This suggests the tire is out of balance and wobbles all over the place while you are driving.

Feathering is when there is a series of little “dunes” running across the tire, with rounded lower edges and sharp high edges. A feathering tire wear pattern likely indicates a problem with the tire’s toe setting, or measure of the car’s alignment. It’s sometimes hard to tell by sight, so you may want to run your hand across the tire to feel for those round and sharp edges, and if you’re still not sure, you may want to visit your local mechanic or tire shop to make sure your wheels are safe to drive on.

If you notice any of these wear patterns, come into Mr. Tire!

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